Preserved Stories Blog


Malcolm Campbell High School Sixties Reunion Committee met in Kitchener on June 16, 2014

Peter Mearns (MCHS '63). June 16, 2014 in Kitchener at a Boston Pizza near the 401. Jaan Pill is reflected in the window. You can enlarge these photos by clicking on them. Jaan Pill photo

Our most recent Malcolm Campbell High School 60s Reunion organizing committee meeting took place on June 16, 2014 in Kitchener. Our previous meeting on May 21, 2014 was held at the same location. Peter Mearns, Lynn Legge, and Jaan Pill attended the meeting.

The reunion will take place in Toronto on Oct. 17, 2015 (that is, next year).

Please note that this report is subject to correction or revision.

My purpose in writing these minutes is to inform you about what was discussed – and also so that you can offer your own input regarding the planning process. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

The next organizing committee meeting in Kitchener will likely be in September.

During the summer, or in the early fall, we anticipate that we’ll also have at least one informal get together in Toronto, which any and all Toronto-area MCHS graduates are welcome to attend. We have not yet chosen a date or location.

As well, please note that an informal MCHS mini-reunion will be held in Montreal on Aug. 13, 2014 (that is, this summer).

Old Mill Toronto

Peter Mearns reported that Old Mill Toronto has set aside the date of Oct. 17, 2015. It doesn’t cost anything to set it aside, for now. As noted earlier at this website, a price of $125 for a one-person ticket or $200 for a couple is the price range we are thinking of for tickets. That’s a minimum, and we may have to go higher than that. We are aware, however, that some attendees will be travelling from afar. They will have all kinds of other expenses aside from the price of tickets.

We aim to come out even on the reunion. We have no reason to make a profit on the event.

As well, we have two ballrooms set aside for the reunion, meaning that we have an upper limit of about 300 attendees. Once the tickets go on sale, it will be First Come, First Served. After that, there’s going to be a waiting list.

Block reservations for rooms

Lynn Legge and Peter Mearns. Boston Pizza, Kitchener, June 16, 2014. Jaan Pill photo

Lynn Legge noted that Old Mill Toronto and other hotels in the neighbourhood are not able to give us a defined price for block reservations until within a year of the event.

Lynn added that there are about 50-odd rooms at the Old Mill. These are very comfortable for one person or for couples, but would not be the optimal arrangement if, say, three or four classmates decide to bunk together. There are, however, other hotels in the area, with a wide range of prices and accommodations.

The deposit for the meeting rooms is 20 percent of the total bill, whatever that amount will be, which we’ll know when we get closer to the wire. So, at this point we have to think about where that deposit will come from.

We seek an accountant

We are working toward finding an MCHS grad who is an accountant, who can handle the money, organize it, and help us figure out how much we need.

Contact lists

Peter Mearns reviewed an extensive lists of contacts, that we will follow up on, from the MCHS Reunion in Montreal in 2000. Howard Hight and Diana Redden are doing a great job in development of a database of MCHS Sixties alumni. If you wish to add your name to the database, please contact Howard Hight at hahight@gmail.com

Online payments

Subsequent to the June 16, 2014 meeting, Jaan Pill met with Bruce Walden of Walden Design in Toronto. Walden Design will be able to set up a secure payment system on the Preserved Stories website. Registrants for the reunion would fill out a registration form online, and purchase their reunion tickets, at the latter site. Our next step is to set up the payment system and an online registration form.

Email distribution list

We noted that people with an interest in the reunion will be able to keep informed of news updates through the Preserved Stories website and the MCHS ’60s Reunion Facebook Group that has recently been launched. We will ensure that emails sent out through an email distribution list will be few in number, to ensure that MCHS grads do not end up receiving more emails than they have the time and interest to read.

Sit down meal or buffet?

Our recent MCHS '60s Reunion meetings were held at a Boston Pizza near the 401 in Kitchener. The flags outside the restaurant are in celebration of the opening of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Jaan Pill photo

Peter Mearns mentioned that on the drive to Kitchener from Toronto, he and Jaan Pill had  reviewed the discussions that had been held to date regarding the format for the reunion. Peter noted:

“That thing that we were kicking around is that, looking at the menu, somebody came up with the idea, or I saw it on one of the e-mails: ‘Is it going to be a sit down meal or is it going to be a buffet?'”

Lynn Legge noted that for people who are vegetarians, a buffet makes the matter of food selection very easy. Peter Mearns noted that at the MCHS Reunion in 2000, there were specified tables, and people organized their own tables.  Having specified tables has some advantages, but it also takes away a degree of flexibility.

For example, if you meet someone that you were’t expecting to meet, it’s easy to arrange to sit with them when you’re at a buffet. You just find a seat where you can sit with your friend and you chat while you eat. When seating arrangements are set beforehand, a last-minute arrangement of this kind is not feasible.

Lynn Legge added that a buffet would intermingle the people more. Jaan Pill added that if there are set tables, it means that you’ve got someone on your left, and someone on your right to talk with and that’s it.

Jaan added: “And is that the extent of the experience? I would want something much more than that. And so I think the buffet idea makes a lot of sense. Yeah.”

Format of the reunion

We ended our June 16, 2014 meeting with a visit to Lynn Legge's impressive Ford Mustang, parked outside the Boston Pizza. Jaan Pill photo

With regard to the format of the reunion, we discussed plenty of related topics – social hierarchies in high school and in life in general, and the persistence, years later, of high school cliques. These are great topics for discussion; I will outline, in a separate blog post, some of the great ideas and insights that we shared about these enjoyable topics.

High tables

Lynne Legge also spoke of a work reunion that she attended at a country club. They had high tables around the outer edge of the room during the cocktail hour. These are tables that are a handy place to place a drink, or a purse, or whatever, when you’re talking with people.

That avoids the balancing act that occurs when you have a drink in one hand, food in the other, and so on. As well, for people who like to talk with their hands, the high table is a great place to put your drink while you’re talking.

The high tables can be discreetly removed when the meal gets under way.

The high tables serve to make it easier for people to intermingle than may otherwise be the case. It’s great when people have opportunities to work the room.

Classmates.com

Howard Hight and Diana Redden have been sharing updates, including with regard to the Montreal MCHS mini-reunion on Aug. 13, 2014 (that is, this year) using Classmates.com as a platform. That has been working out well. The volunteer work that Howard and Diana are doing on behalf of the reunion is highly valuable and much appreciated.

Name tags

If it’s possible, it would be great to have a yearbook photo included in the name tag for each attendee. We have yearbooks for 1961-62, 1962-63, 1963-64, 1964-1965. We can scan photos from these yearbooks.

However, we will also need yearbooks for the remaining years: 1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68, and 1969-70. If anybody can lend us their yearbooks for those years, we will scan the pages and get them back to you as quickly as possible.

Please contact us if you can help out by lending us the required yearbooks.

The aim is to ensure that when you talk to somebody, you know which classmate you are talking with. As has been noted, occasionally what we look like changes when we’re talking about a timespan of 50 years.

We’ve encountered a wide range of comments about this topic, as in: “I looked a hell of a lot better back then than I do now!” Or: “Well, I figure I’m the only one that hasn’t changed!”

In this regard, we noted at the June 16, 2014 meeting that what people often recognize at once is a person’s voice. Some people recognize voices more quickly than they recognize the face that goes with the voice.

Not just photos and year but also your line of work including volunteer pursuits

Peter Mearns, June 26, 2014. Jaan Pill photo

Peter Mearns mentioned that, along with a yearbook photo and graduation year, it would be great to mention on a name tag what line of business a person was in over the past 50 years. Lynn Legge added that it would be great to include information about volunteer interests and pursuits as well.

That’s because in some cases we had stay-at-home moms – and sometimes stay-at-home dads – whose activities may have focused on volunteer pursuits. Occasionally, as Lynn mentioned, such volunteer pursuits turned into careers when people returned to the work force once their children were in school.

Peter Mearns spoke of a situation where, say, two friends from high school both ended up in the publishing business. It may turn out, when they run into each other 50 years later, that they were not only in the same business, but were also competing against each other. Such discoveries make for great conversations.

Thus there’s a lot to be said for making an effort to enable people to engage in conversations and meetings based upon shared interests and pursuits, whatever those interests and pursuits may be.

Please let me know if this overview requires corrections. We welcome your input and questions regarding the reunion planning process.

 

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10 Responses to Malcolm Campbell High School Sixties Reunion Committee met in Kitchener on June 16, 2014

  1. Jaan Pill Jaan Pill says:

    Here’s a message from one of the MCHS Facebook Groups, which I’m pleased to pass along. Such comments are of tremendous value to the MCHS Sixties organizing committee:

    Hi Jaan, Just a thought, it would be nice if at the reunion people registered at a tables of the year that they graduated and then go on to mingle. I know that when I attended the 2000 reunion that I missed seeing some folks as they sat with their siblings or spouses that has attended MCHS in a different year.

  2. Jaan Pill Jaan Pill says:

    Occasionally, a person was in two graduating classes, depending on circumstances, such as the need to bring one’s grade point average to a higher level.

    Thus it makes really good sense for the reunion organizers to make sure that there are a number of ways to enable people from various graduating classes to be readily identified and contacted during the reunion.

    What we’re dealing with is information management, including visual display of data, with the aim of enabling as many people to connect as possible.

    As I think about this further, I think it would be great, among other things, to have panels set up at the reunion, on display stands, showing yearbook photos and names of graduates, with details on how to get in touch with them while at the reunion.

  3. Howard A Hight says:

    I would suggest that the event be a buffett.There needs to be tables as suggested set around the edge so folks can put down the drink and food to chat someone up.

    I would not suggest preset tables as I feel this could be exclusive. Need to be sure a few folks, like us, are doing host duty to be sure no one is isolated out.

    The data base Diana and I have been developing, mostly Diana, should be designated as the official list. It allows all aspects of the event to be recorded in one flexible spot. It would ensure that all get notified of information. All accounting aspects can be done with this list as well.
    Who is coming, who paid etc…

  4. Jaan Pill Jaan Pill says:

    My personal opinion, as an MCHS 63 alumnus, is that it should be a buffet, with tables around the edge as has been suggested. This is a concept that has developed out of conversations to date among many MCHS grads.

    I agree: Important to ensure on one is isolated out.

    I agree: The database that Diana and Howard haven been developing should be the official list, for all purposes, including accounting. That is the best approach by far, in my view.

    We welcome comments from other MCHS grads regarding these and other topics. We want to ensure that input from a wide range of sources is taken into account during the course of planning. Input from each MCHS alumna or alumnus is of tremendous value to us.

  5. Arleen Chenoll (nee Smith) says:

    I was really excited to learn about the reunion and then sad to find out the date does not work for me due to an overseas trip. It occurred to me that the reunion could include, say, about 1 hour during which absentee grads could Skype in to say hello and to offer up their contact information if anyone at the reunion wants to connect later. Another option is to do a 30 minute video with messages or memories from absentee grads. Not sure how this could be done but it might be fun.

  6. Jaan Pill Jaan Pill says:

    The idea of a time period during the conference when absentee grads could Skype to say hello and offer up their contact information is highly appealing to me.

    Similarly, I like the idea of a 30 minute video with messages or memories from absentee grads.

    I look forward to speaking with the MCHS organizing committee about these ideas. I believe they are feasible. Arleen’s message also underlines the fact that, with the aid of the Internet, keeping in touch and exchanging thoughts and ideas is something that occurs all the time, both before and after a reunion.

    I recall that one of the MCHS grads I’ve been in touch with, who organized another MCHS reunion, said that the organizing of the event – all the discussions and work that people did together – was a great experience in itself. The planning of it was enjoyable and lots of fun.

    There have been many such reunions and mini-reunions related to MCHS, as I’ve been learning, sometimes focused on a particular graduation year or even graduation class.

    It’s wonderful that we are keeping in touch.

    It’s wonderful that the MCHS Sixties Reunion organizers are getting ideas and suggestions from so many sources, and that we are all learning from each other.

  7. Laurie Goddard says:

    It would be cool if there were a list of the graduates from the different years on a Facebook page. Especially for the women, their names change but one would recognize their high school last name.
    That way, even if people did not go to the reunion they might want to become Facebook friends.

  8. Jaan Pill Jaan Pill says:

    My initial thought was that it would, indeed, be a great idea to post lists of members of Sixties MCHS graduating classes online.

    After discussion among the MCHS Sixties Reunion organizing committee, however, my sense is that it would not make sense to post lists of names for each graduating class online. We need to respect privacy of information.

    That being said, we will help in whatever way we can to ensure that people who wish to establish contact with MCHS classmates have the opportunity to do so.

    We are keeping in mind, with regard to this process, that not every classmate wishes to be contacted by every possible person who may be wishing to contact them. That is, before contact information is shared, we will ensure that privacy of information is respected.

  9. Ron Cooper and Brenda (HOPE) Payn says:

    we understand that you are looking for 65-66 year book , please advise if you still need the info we have a hard copy, we could scan and send if needed.

  10. Jaan Pill Jaan Pill says:

    We do now have a copy of the 65-66 yearbook. However, we would indeed like to take you up on the offer to scan it and send us the scan (PDF is best) of the yearbook.

    It is unlikely we will have the money, in the Reunion Budget, to have the yearbooks scanned at some facility that specializes in such scanning. We are also very short of available time, with many yearbooks that we need to scan and many other volunteer tasks that need to be addressed. Thus if you can do the scanning, that would make a huge difference.

    Our plan is to have a DVD, with the yearbooks from early 1960s into the later 1970s, in each Grab Bag for each Attendee at the Reunion.

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